White Spots on Nails


The presence of white spots on nails that partially or completely cover the nail bed is a nail disease. Many have not truly understood the nature of this condition; some of speculations are true and some are not. Everyone gets to experience this condition at some point in their lives.

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Causes of White Spots on Nails

Many myths about white spots on nails have been said but only a few are proven to be true. Foremost, they are not caused by calcium deficiency or iron deficiency like everyone thought, and there has been no supporting evidence that could show the direct relationship between white spots and calcium or iron.

Here are the possible causes of white spots on nails:

• Most common cause for the appearance of white spots on nails is minor injury to the nail bed. This type of injury doesn’t show up at the moment of injury but may only appear a few days later.

• White spots are possible effects of zinc deficiency. But it is not at all times that white spots appear on the nails of a person deficient in zinc.

• White spots on nails could be an indication of a fungal infection.

• Mild infection or allergic reaction from chemicals like nail polish, nail remover or hardener.

• Psychogenic stress

• Exposure to extreme cold temperature

• Effects of chemotherapy

• Cirrhosis

• Can also be warning signs of other conditions like heart disease and hepatitis

Risk Factors for White Spots on Nails

• Individuals who are fond of manicures or pedicures and those who use artificial nails could acquire white spots due to possible allergic reaction from these products or injury to the nail bed.

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• Those who work out or those who often lift heavy objects can cause injury to their nails, thus resulting to the appearance of white spots.

• Frequent visits to the beauty salon to get nail treatment such as manicure or pedicure increases the possibility of getting fungal infection which may cause white spots on nails.

Treatment for White Spots on Nails

There is no treatment for white spots on nails. Generally, these marks are harmless and would just disappear after the nails have fully grown out, which takes an average of 8 weeks. But in some cases, identifying the cause of the white spots may help speed up the healing process. Such as in the case of zinc deficiency, taking zinc supplements can be of great help.

Here are some helpful tips for those who are not comfortable with having white spots on nails:

• Cover the spots with nail polish, but if the cause is fungal or allergic reaction, it is best to stay away from nail products for a while.

• Moisturize your hands regularly.

• For treatment of dry hands and fingers, massage and put some vitamin E oil.

Prevention of White Spots on Nails

Regular nail care maintenance can help prevent nail problems. In most cases, these white spots on nails are caused by minor nail injury, so it is best to be careful in handling things. It’s also advisable to keep your nails regularly trimmed to avoid forceful injuries. And when dealing with harsh chemicals, don’t forget to wear gloves. And best of all, eat a balanced and healthy diet.

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